Who is Your Girlfriend?
The word girlfriend can mean something very different from one person to the next. A girlfriend can be your best friend or someone you trust with anything from your deepest secrets to financial support. The definition of what makes a girlfriend depends on the relationship between you and your closest female friend.
But whatever your definition, it’s important to know what you want out of that relationship so that you don’t end up feeling like you’re being taken advantage of or not getting what you want out of the friendship.
As a teenager, I had some brief relationships with girls that were just periods spent doing fun things together. I liked each girl individually and didn’t know how to appreciate them as potential partners. That changed when my junior year of high school started and my family moved to Italy. Living in a foreign country made me want to connect with someone—anyone—who knew English.
After a couple of months, I met a beautiful Italian girl and we became inseparable for about six months until our families moved back to America. She was more than my first girlfriend; she taught me what it meant to love someone deeply, trust her and care for her, have fun with her and be there for her (when she needed it).
Love isn’t a noun. Love is a verb, and you have to actively love someone for it to mean anything. A girlfriend helps you be better at whatever it is you choose to do in life. She lifts you. It’s why I look forward to coming home every day—for years, she has been my wind beneath my wings, but she means so much more than that to me now.
She takes care of me when I am sick or sad, she brings out laughter where there used to be only tears. She motivates me when times are hard and encourages me on days when I am struggling with goals and ideas that don’t seem attainable right away.
You’ve finally met the one. She makes you feel comfortable and understood like you could share any of your weirdest quirks with her and she would find them utterly charming. You never want to be away from her because when you are, it feels lonely.
And when you do make it back to her, everything feels better – even if she’s making fun of your most embarrassing gaffes. This is a girl who brings out your best, so don’t take her for granted. You found each other for a reason! Don’t let go just because things get tough; trust that she wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t worth sticking around for!
The Girl you Love
It could be a close friend or your sister, but in most cases, it’s a girl you’ve been dating for at least six months and have some sort of romantic relationship with. She’s someone you can open up to and confide in; you respect her opinion and are willing to compromise when needed. It may take time, but your girlfriend should be someone you trust with all of your secrets; if not, consider ending things before they go too far.
A best friend like that deserves to be treated as more than just a buddy. Whether or not you are truly committed is up to you, but make sure she knows how much she means to you—and why—before it’s too late.
A girlfriend should challenge you to be a better man. She should inspire you to be your best self while also pushing you out of your comfort zone and opening your eyes to new experiences. These experiences can help spur learning, which increases confidence and makes it easier for you to succeed in life.
A girlfriend should make sure that she’s proud of who she’s with—and encourage him to feel proud of himself as well. This kind of emotional support, along with helping, achieve personal goals and ambitions, is what turns a good relationship into something that lasts forever.
It’s important to understand that there are different kinds of girlfriends, just as there are different kinds of boys. The important thing isn’t what kind of girl you want in your life, but rather which type best fits your needs and goals at each stage of your development.
But one thing remains constant for all men: no matter what stage we’re in, we want a girl who can make us proud to introduce her to our families and friends. So when you think about it, no matter how much or how little she means to you, every girlfriend is at heart a Mom-and-Dad magnet.
Nobody wants to be around a yes-man, but nobody wants to be around a person who can’t fit into your life. You want someone who can make you a priority but still maintain her interests and friends. If she doesn’t have any friends or hobbies of her own (and her only interest in yours is seeing how many times she can drag you out) then maybe she isn’t right for you. The perfect girlfriend may seem like an ideal, but she probably doesn’t exist. Instead, look for someone who tries to mesh with your personality while still maintaining hers.
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to who your The One will be. It’s often a process of elimination: You may love that first girlfriend, but she doesn’t really make you feel great about yourself; your second girlfriend does, but she just doesn’t seem to have a vision for where you two are headed.
As for what The One looks like in terms of appearance—long-lost Elizabeth Taylor aside—it’s much more about who she is and how well you get along together than how pretty or buff or successful she is on paper. She should make you feel happy about life and confident about yourself—and if any of those four qualities are missing from your relationship, you probably need to reevaluate things before it gets serious.